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'Take a break' tired drivers told

2011-11-08 11:16

AVOID THIS: The minister of transport wants to avoid scenes such as these by recommending drivers take breaks and be relieved on longer journeys.

 
As South Africans prepare for another great trek to the coast for their summer holiday transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele has called on drivers to take shifts on longer trips - or share the fate of 10 ZCC members.

Fatigue may have been the cause of a crash in which 10 members of the Zion Christian Church died on Sunday (Nov 6) so transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele has again called for drivers to rest when out on the long road.

"We (the transport ministry) are repeating our call for all public transport operators to ensure that no long-distance trip is undertaken without a relief driver," Ndebele said in a statement on Monday. But sharing the driving also matters for your family's Christmas trip to the coast.

The minister's plea came after the 10 church members were killed and 45 injured on Sunday night when the bus they were travelling in overturned on the N1 near Polokwane.

DUTY TO ENSURE SAFETY


Limpopo transport spokesman Thesan Moodley said the worshippers were returning to KZN after attending a church meeting in Zimbabwe when the bus driver lost control of the vehicle, hit a barrier and overturned.

Ndebele said drivers of public transport vehicles, especially buses and taxis, could not be expected to drive hundreds of kilometres for several hours without a relief driver on board.

"Public transport employers have a duty to ensure the safety of their workers and customers," he said.

He added officials from the Road Accident Fund were providing assistance to the affected families.

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